Robberies, beatings in Mart juvenile correctional facility lead to 18 indictments

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Violent beatings and robberies by young offenders of other young inmates in the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility led to 18 indictments on Wednesday, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

The newspaper reported that 17 juvenile offenders and one employee in the facility in the small town of Mart, east of Waco, were indicted on a variety of felonies. Six indictments were returned under seal because those defendants haven’t been arrested.

Nine of the remaining 12 were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, and three were charged with assault on public servants, the Tribune-Herald reported.

Brian Sweany, spokesman for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, said some of the organized crime charges resulted from an incident on June 29 when the defendants were left unsupervised and allegedly assaulted and robbed another youthful offender. An employee is accused of allowing that assault to occur and was charged with official oppression, Sweany said.

The Tribune-Herald reported that other organized-crime indictments resulted from an alleged robbery and assault on another offender on June 11.

Cindy Garner, a prosecutor with the Texas Special Prosecution Unit, presented the cases to the grand jury Wednesday. That unit, an independent agency funded by a grant from the governor’s office, prosecutes crimes committed in state correctional facilities.

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